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Zubin Mehta to conduct his fifth Vienna New Year’s Concert

The event will be televised live to approximately 50 million people in 90 different countries, and the conductor aims to restore harmony by ‘bringing people together for at least two and a half hours’. Each year the Vienna Philharmonic’s annual Neujahrskonzert rings in the New Year from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, with a number of pieces devoted to the Strauss family, the kings of 19th century waltz.

A positive celebration to see in 2015

Various anniversaries will also be celebrated during the concert, with music marking the 650th anniversary of the University of Vienna, the 200th anniversary of Austrian capital’s Technical University and the 150th birthday of Vienna’s Ringstrasse Boulevard. This will provide a more uplifting occasion when compared with the World War I theme in the previous year.

Making his debut 24 years ago, the 78-year-old has conducted the concert in 1990, 1995, 1998 and 2007, and is said to be just as excited about tomorrow’s performance as he was the very first time. The concert is sure to delight all those attending, including visitors to Vienna on river cruises in Europe, as well as those watching the Vienna New Year’s concert from home.

First taking place in 1939 under the Nazis, the event has since become a much-loved event in the classical-music calendar. Since the 1980s, it was decided that there should be a different conductor each year, following the 25-year reign of Austrian Willi Boskovsky and American successor Lorin Maazel. The concert has since become a symbol of optimism for the year that is about to come, encouraging those watching to draw joy from the relaxed yet subtly reflective music.

Those in the UK can tune in and watch the concert on BBC TWO at 11.15am tomorrow, or listen on BBC Radio 3.

Image Credit: Apoorva Guptay (

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